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ASTRO patient education program recognized by AAA Awards

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has been named to the 2010 Associations Advance America (AAA) Honor Roll for outstanding work on its public awareness campaign to help cancer patients and their families understand their treatment options.

In September 2003, ASTRO conducted a national survey to gauge what the public understood about radiation therapy and determined that the public knew very little about this form of cancer treatment even though it is one of the three main cancer treatments along with chemotherapy and surgery. To combat this, the Society launched a public awareness campaign to educate patients and the public about how radiation therapy works to cure cancer.

The campaign consists of 15 patient brochures, including 10 in Spanish, Japanese, and/or Arabic and online-only brochures on radiation for brain and bone metastases. These brochures are sold to physician's offices at cost and made available free to patient support groups. ASTRO also has a patient website,, which was created in 2004 and redesigned in 2009, where patients can learn about radiation therapy treatments, such as external beam radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) and brachytherapy; understand cancer treatment side effects; locate a radiation oncologist in their area; find a list of patient support groups; and find resources for radiation therapy treatment financial aid.

The AAA Awards are sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives and The Center for Association Leadership in Washington to recognize associations that propel America forward with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship and community service.

"The quality of life of cancer patients is very important to both ASTRO and our members," Laura Thevenot, ASTRO CEO, said. "By providing our brochures and patient website as tools for explaining radiation therapy as a cancer treatment, we hope to help our members provide easy to understand information to their patients and help them navigate through their cancer treatment. It's an honor to be recognized by the AAA Awards for the efforts of our staff and membership in providing this crucial information to patients."


Contact: Beth Bukata
American Society for Radiation Oncology

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